I am trying to gather some information on the Pentax 6X7 camera. (The big SLR versions that look like a 35mm SLR on steroid.) There appear to be several versions of this camera, incluidng the original model, a latel model with mirror lock-up, and a more recent 6X7 II model.
Can anyone tell me what are the advantages of the newer models viv-a-vis the older ones? Or point me to a souce of information on these cameras?
Anyone with personal experience with these cameras?
I've gone from one extreme to the other: I had one of the original non mirror lockup models, and now have the latest 67II. I'd avoid one of the early non m/u versions, as parts are getting hard to find. The last time I had mine into Pentax for servicing they told me that was the last time it could be serviced, as parts were getting scarce and Pentax wasn't making parts anymore.
The reason I chose a 67 was I shoot a lot of trains and its the only affordable MF camera that has 1/1000 shutter speed. Handling is nice and fairly intuitive if you're used to a 35mm SLR.
The new 67II offers a lot over the earlier versions, especially if you have the metering prism, which I recommend. That offers spot, partial and matrix metering, as well as aperture priority. The earlier versions didn't have any of this. Flash sync is still 1/30, but I rarely use flash so this wasn't important to me. It's silly a large, chunky camera, but the lenses are excellent, especially the two zooms. I have both and their optical performance is first rate. They are quite modern, I think came out in 2002 and 2003, so the optics are new. The zoom has replaced the 105 as my standard lens and the negs are a bit contrastier I think.
It's an excellent camera at a great price, and the sheer amount of glass out there in the used market makes them very affordable.
I have shot with 67II for several years. I think the mirror lockup is a must. The thing has recoil if you don't! I also liked that they handled the 220 film. I shot plus x pan through it for years. I liked that stuff.
I used a large number of lenses, I bought the 135 for macro and it was inexpensive. I also had the smaller zoom which I liked very much, but for most of my shooting of landscapes it was the 45mm. What a great lens.
I had mine sent in and modified at the factory to have 1/3rd stops setup and some of the other things they did.
I liked it very much for windier days, it's heavy, hard to vibrate, much less so than the 12x20's
At the hight of the craze, I had 3 bodies but when I had a bunch of the stuff lifted, I used the replacement money to buy the new 8x10 as my grandfathers was nearly twice my age.
All the optics are coated now days and the 45mm lens has an 82mm filter, if you get one, I have some filters you might like.
I've got the 67II. The AE prism finder is very accurate. You can easily pull it off it you want 100% view or when shooting from low angles. The 67II can/could be modified at Pentax for 1/2 stop shutter speeds and in turn also gives longer shutter speeds in to the seconds. I have seen a page somewhere explaining the different models. 6x7 models then 67 then 67II being the latest i believe is the order. Pentax is discontinuing this in case you haven't heard.
Here's a link about the lenses.
I have been using the 67II w/metering prism for two years. I have in the past 25 years used these handheld medium format cameras: Hasselblad 500CM, Mamiya RB, and Mamiya 7II. I let go of the RB because I did not like the way the camera handled. I still have a Hasselblad and a Mamiya 7II. I am finding as time goes by, the Pentax 67II is replacing the Mamiya 7II as my street camera. I absolutely love the 67II. For me the metering is top notch and it handles like my Nikon F3, just a bit bigger. I have been very pleased with it and would recommend the newest version for a few reasons:
1. metering system is superior
2. easier mirror lock-up system which for my shooting styles is necessary
3. 67II's body is easier for me to handle than prior version; I do not use a grip.
I am a 5'3" female that has no problem handling this big camera. Here are a few shots from the 67II:
hand-held shot #1
hand-held shot #2
tripod shot with mirror lock-up employed: 60-120 seconds
tripod shot with mirror lock-up employed: 60-120 seconds
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Thanks for your comments.
That third image you posted is to die for!! Absolutely georgeous.
Originally Posted by darr
Do you get automatic exposure setting with the 67 II and the AE prism? I assume AE means autiomatic exposure?
Originally Posted by wildbill
Yes. just set the shutter speed dial to A and you've also got the option of +or - 3stops exposure compensation.
Originally Posted by sanking
With the way prices are now, the only sensible choice is between a 67 and a 67II. The non MLU 6x7 should be avoided, mainly because the winding mechanism is weaker and prone to breakage. If broken it CANNOT be repaired as there are no parts available. I have been told that this was upgraded when MLU was added, but I have also been told it happened with the switch from 6x7 name to 67 name. Given the extremely long lifespan of this camera it is likely that a lot of incremental changes were made so it may not be that simple.
If you are looking at a 67 you might as well get a nice looking one as it probably won't make a huge difference to the price. To get the most out of a 67II you really need the AE prism and it seems cheaper to buy them both as a package deal.
FWIW, I have both versions of the non MLU 6x7, both non-working and now used as book ends. I also have a very scarred 6x7 MLU and a quite nice 67 both of which work fine. My lenses exhibit similar amounts of wear but also work just fine. They are built to professional standards. I wish I could justify a 67II but am in the midst of a 4x5 phase at the moment.
Paul, I justified my setup because of those norther Michigan windy days. Every time i go home to shoot, it's too windy for the 4x5. Now you've got an excuse.